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If "Gemini Man" starred opposite actors of similar likeness as seen in time-traveling "Looper", then there wouldn't be anything significant about it besides just a plain action flick. That would have been the alternative direction if it was made when initially proposed in the mid-90s since required capability of computer imagery must break ground much further then, but no visionary was able to find a handle to grasp it. Until now with the de-aging visual effects technique being further practiced which opened to window of opportunity to finally bring this story to life, resulting in a well-handled entertainment.
Retired elite assassin Henry Brogan tried to enjoy life without killing assigned targets till his plans gets abruptly changed when his profession turns against him by a mysterious operative who somehow copies and predicts his every move. Decided to counter head on in an investigative distance rather than running, Henry must temporarily halt retirement and find out more about the man who's been sent to kill him, especially after glancing a full glimpse that he's being targeted by himself but only younger and faster.
Critically acclaimed director Ang Lee is more recently known for "Life of Pi" as a visionary, ahead of his previous similarly praised projects that nicely broadened his directorial horizon with connective theming remaining as the constant variable across his [more contemporary] works. "Gemini Man" is another opportune step that continued both specialties with the thematically driven narrative of one's self, in a much closer range through the same character at the same time, within the same shot, and different age. Lee's exceptional attempt on furthering the de-aging technique is well-handled with an evolved story that matches his authorship while also again broadening his directorial skills across different genres as he delivered thrilling action in an adrenaline rush.
Will Smith's dual performance energizes the film with soulful dedication in combining, though visually splitting, his own star ranges from going emotional in connecting with his character's inner struggles that stirs the dramatic aspect to mustering physical strength to pump up through the action-packed aspect, both being backed up by tense aura he would carry when not being charismatically humorous. He really channeled back to his younger self really well, as well at the emotional level – referring to his breakdown on his father leaving him – around back when he started his acting career, and it is somewhat spiritually closer to that likeness than how he was de-aged which frankly is not as sharp as how it was done earlier this year. But nonetheless, it serves as the main attraction and selling factor with the performance being just how you would expect from the man, this time doubled the efforts.
"Gemini Man" is your average imperfect entertainment that impresses and thrills with the right storyteller that easily connects and soul that practices in defining what drives the experience, and that is pretty much what mainly totals up the entertainment value in a strong level but not much else to reach higher. Nonetheless, it satisfies in worthiness without disappointing. (B+)
Worse than initially thought as confirmation that it would be a bad sequel to the darker original by how effortlessly dumbed down the franchise gone since then (now that's a better mystery) with a disappointingly aimless, torturously-treated direction of heartlessly cartoonish ridicule, even though the certain duo's antics are still amusing along with Lillard's performance still being fun but not enough to save the whole thing like they usually would do. If you ever come across this and watch it, then you stepped over the dropped STAY OUT sign beneath the leaves that tried to be blown away by both the original storytellers and true fans' dissents. (C-)
Nope, just as bad as any parody flick that is now a normal expectation/warning of avoidance even though it admittedly went slightly above that very average by a bit when providing few actual humorous moments when not parodying an horrific intellectual property which gotten worse when the climax busted in then the rest is okay to skip and immediately finish the film. (C)
David Ayer updated his cop drama narrative with timely topical social commentary in multiple angles while being emphasized by blended-in fantasy genre of impressive practical effects, making this quite entertaining to curiously see where the direction will go regarding the thematic heft along how it was well-performed from the main duo, particularly Edgerton. The only downfall that solidifies this as more moderate is how flawed the writing went with the far-fetching written length that unnecessarily went beyond the settled positional range for the involved characters. (B+)
Finally found a film that is downright scary with a desired effect that most horror films failed to either pull off or hang on as they age when it looks like this psychological horror drama has excellently justified the timeless status and should be looked at as the definitive face of what a horror film should be. Ari Aster's directorial debut for a feature is astonishing with how he approached associated familial tropes and conjured them, with a genuine classic framework of subtle escalation, into deformed entity while enforcing how unrestful the darkness really is with silently straightforward lurking. Ingenious authorship from Aster as a force to be reckoned with, supported by Collette's mesmerizing performance in the grieving drama aspect then nicely blending in with the kicked-in horrific realization backdrop; but it's anchored by being equally disturbing in a way of utterly unsettling aches muscles and may have gone overboard which ultimately affected the film's masterful level in indicating its re-watchability albeit how fairly praiseworthy the picture succeeds. (B)